Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Cemitas El As De Oro (Puebla, PUE; Mexico): The Prideful Sandwich Of Puebla

El Zocalo In Puebla (Ant Shot)
Hungry In Puebla: An Ants View

Uneventful lunches only make the next meal all the better. With that in mind, we walked around Puebla like no other that day. Aimlessly of course, after all, it is the best kind of walking when new and nothing to do in such a beautiful city.

snacking is a way of life
Snacking Is A Way Of Life In Mexico: Nuts, Toasted, In Toffee, In Chile; Sustaining

A KFC Krushem?!?
Noooo!: A KFC In Paradise? (What The Hell Is A ‘Krushem’?)

Falun Gong In Puebla!
Falun Gong In Puebla

Inside A Colonial Home In Puebla
Keeping That O.G Style: Inside A Colonial Home In Puebla

We eventually stumbled into El Zocalo. It was filled with older couples who brought out their kids for some fresh air and younger couples who glowed as they walked by with hands bound tight.

El Zocalo Fountain
El Zocalo De Puebla

Puebla Ready For The Bicentennial!
Puebla Is Ready For The Mexican Bicentennial: 200 Years Of Tortillas

It was the type of scene that only seemed to come true in movies. I sat down and took it all in. Even my dad decided to enjoy the moment, while getting his boots shined by a local bolero, (shoe shiner).

pops getting his zapatitos shined!
Pops Getting His Botitas Shined!

Knowing of my disappointed meal earlier, he asked around—while embarrassingly charming several girls at the same time--and found out where the local Mercado was at. This was the first time I saw him make food a destination. Puebla is magical.

Mercado Venustiano Carranza
Mercado Venustiano Carranza: Talk About Old School Mexican First Names!

Tropical rain started to pour down on us hard during our hackneyed quest for the almighty Cemita but 18 blocks later we had found the local produce Mercado. We were fast to scurry in for a shelter of a sandwich.

Mercado Carranza (Welcome Shot)
Sneaky Shot Inside El Mercado: Vendors Don’t Like Cameras Apparently

It was rather late and inside it was almost the end of the Mercado workday. The raw meat at the carnicerias that once hung lavishly on kitchen twine was all sold out, the produce at the verdulero stands was starting to brown and lose their sheen. But fortunately, the food area was still in full, blaring steam.

I was quickly reprimanded when trying to take photos of this area though, like so many other times already in this whole trip.

Just imagine the total opposite of a mall food court, a labyrinth of small rectangular booths right next to each other all selling the same things. The heckling vendors trying their hardest to get you to buy some of their food, overwhelming at first. The best thing is to go with your gut and just sit down wherever. I have painfully learned that it’s really a 50/50 chance with these situations. Sure, there are a couple of things to look out for if you can. Things like which booth has the most people, which booth has the freshest looking raw ingredients and of course…which booth has the most tantalizing aroma. But all this is hard to assess when under the trance-like state that is induced by the combined, harmonizing rhythmic sales chants of all the vendors.

We finally settled on a booth called El As De Oros after one of the chants from the sales guy said “si no te gusta, no la pagas!” (If you don’t like it, then you don’t pay!). My dad told the guy “tu si eres buen vendedor” (you really are a good vendor) and immediately sat down.

Cemita Porn
Cemita De Barbacoa: This Was Imminent

A Cemita Poblana is required eating when in Puebla. It is not just a sandwich but also a symbol of convenient bounty and a working class society. A copious sesame seed studded roll is baked hard. It is then sawed open and stuffed with Puebla’s plethoric pride and joy of plentiful proteins. Fried Beef Milanesa that is pounded whisper thin and delicate is the peoples favorite and most widely available, while other fillings like chicken, braised pork leg, pork skin, pork etc. are also popular.

No matter which filling though, a generous layer of “Queso Oaxaca” (Quesillo) will always be a corequisite cheese to the meat. That, as well as thick slabs of ripe, creamy avocado, the option of pickled Rajas or smoky Chipotle peppers and the local acrid herb of Papalo, which I once described as 'tasting like ammonia and deer piss'--will always be in your sandwich declaration.

Cemita Strata
The Cemita Strata/b>: It Comes Strapping At El Mercado Venustiano Carranza

I decided on the braised lamb Barbacoa Enchilada as my protein since its my favorite back in L.A. Lamb is called carnero over here, and its essentially the same red chile marinade that goes in those afore-posted Mixiotes I got at the earlier Ahuizotla Tianguis.

The toasted roll’s bready guts had to be ripped out in order to make room for the filling. It must of came with more than a half pound of meat, but it was finger-tender so I wasn’t complaining in the least. They weren’t shy with the Quesillo and rest of ingredients neither. Although I would have liked the bread to be softer, it would probably collapse under the strapping weight of the fillings. It’s hard to believe that one person averagely finishes this. My little sister and I both went rabid hyena and let loose on it but there was still enough leftover to make an average, boring sized sandwich.

I pleasantly burped Papalo the rest of the evening.

Cemitas El As De Oro
El Mercadeo Venustiano Carranza

50 Pesos Per Barbacoa Cemita


Food Marathon said...

Fantastic blogging on all the recent posts. Keep it up.

glutster said...

Food Marathon: Gracias man. What can I say, Mexico is magical :)

weezermonkey said...

You are putting your new camera to such good use, dude!

Loving these posts. :)

sofia gutierrez said...

Krushem means Crush Them in Spanglish Mexican Style! I can read into the wording 'cause I'm MEXICAN! Sofia

sofia gutierrez said...

Krushem means Crush Them... I know, 'cause I'm from DF!, Sofia

eastside food bites said...

That settles it. I'm having a cemita this week! Thanks for the inspiration.

Anna A. said...

Awesome post! I was hanging on every word/photo like I was right there with you. So funny about the KFC flurry drinks...and they don't like you taking pictures :O Your cemita looks incredible, and good choice on the lamb. I would kill to taste it (aaaar, damn u!!!!)

glutster said...

weezermonkey-thanks for appreciating them :)

sofia-ha ha. definitely! :)

eastside- bust the mission to Cemitas Y Clayudas Pal Cabron...trust!

Anna: Think you would approve of that lamb...so tender!

pleasurepalate said...

Your photos are coming out so beautifully. :) Great job!

gourmetpigs said...

Man that seriously looks good. Hmm, perhaps I should make my winter vacation Mexico!

eastside food bites said...

Cemitas Y Clayudas Pal Cabron it is. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

sooo proud of you. you never cease to surprise me:)
a picture of pops with his embarrassed smile?! (where's flor?!)
an ant's view?!?

where do you come up with this stuff?!